Radio Broadcasting 1929
In February 1929, Dr. Isaac Edgar Gates (Pastor 1919-1932), began broadcasting church services with a broadcast over radio station KTSA. This opened new means of missionary activity which could not only reach the un-churched, but could also furnish comfort to the aged and physically incapacitated. Through the years, several different stations were used, including KABC, then for a time KWBU, a new 50,000 watt station in Corpus Christi, later KONO, and KISS-FM through the mid 1950's. 1978 Radio broadcasting came to an end in January, 1978, when pastor, Dr. Jimmy Allen (Pastor 1968-1979), considered the cost was too great for the benefits, inasmuch as the program was often interrupted or the time was pre-empted for sports casts or other events.
In January 1969, channel 12 (KSAT) , offered air time to broadcast the morning worship services for the next 18 months. However, five months later the station was sold, and no further air time was allowed to the church. During the time the station facilities were available, First Baptist was able to provide several offerings to the viewing public, including the "Good News" program, which featured singing by the Chapel Choir and a message from Dr. Jimmy Allen. Additionally, Dr. Allen was given air time in some unique spots, such as "The Moral Side of the News" wherein he offered comments at the conclusion of the regular Sunday night newscast. (pic)
During this period, Dr. Allen made a number of attempts to persuade the management of the station to let the church have air time for regular broadcasts. Each effort met with negative response, but it soon became evident that the Lord was at work preparing a remarkable series of events, that would change this situation.
Dr. Allen accompanied the youth choir on their tour of some parts of the northeastern United States, including a stop in a small Southern Baptist Church in the town of Bergen, New Jersey. During a social for the choir, Dr. Allen felt the urge to speak with a man who seemed "sort of withdrawn from the rest of the group." This man was Mr. Bill Howard, a television engineer for National Broadcasting Company. Later at a convention in New York, Mr. Howard and Dr. Allen met again. While Mr. Howard was giving a guided tour of the NBC studios to Dr. Allen, he mentioned he was a native Texan and had attended Howard Payne College in Brownwood, TX and for some years now, while in New York, he had a distinct feeling he was not doing enough for the Lord.